Secret document reveals Herzl’s plan to establish Jewish state in Morocco

A secret document reveals Herzl’s plans to establish a “Jewish state” in Morocco

Moroccan Republic News and Magazine_

Monday, 21 December 2020 – 18:25

Historical relations between Jews and Morocco returned to the forefront after official contacts resumed between Rabat and Tel Aviv, as a leaked secret document revealed the plan of Theodore Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement, which aimed to declare Morocco a “Jewish state”, that is to say before the idea of ​​migrating the Jews of the world to Palestine becomes central.

The Hebrew newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” reported that Herzl, the founder of the Zionist movement which led to the creation of the State of Israel, promoted a secret and mysterious document for the “Morocco Plan”, less known than the ” Plan Ouganda “, which was to settle Russian Jews in the Horse Valley, in the southwest of Morocco.

The same sources indicated that a “Ugandan plan” to settle Jews in East Africa is being explored in Israeli schools as part of history lessons. But little is known about Herzl’s alternative plan, what has been called the “Morocco plan” to settle Russian Jews in Morocco, a suggestion raised in his mysterious letter written in 1903.

According to the same data, Joseph Chamberlain, the British Colonial Secretary, in April 1903 made Herzl to settle Jews in British East Africa, especially Kenya, and the proposal became famous in Zionist discourse as “Plan of Uganda”. However, Herzl categorically rejected the proposal on the grounds that “only the land of Israel longs for the Jews.”

The Israeli “Yediot Aharonot” pointed out that the riots which broke out in Russia against the Jews of Kishinev made Herzl more insistent and more urgent than ever to promote the cause of the national homeland, to present his plan to the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel, in Swiss. The Zionist movement was divided, at the time, because of opposition to the proposal for an independent state in Uganda as a temporary refuge. However, at the Seventh Congress, a year later, the Ugandan proposal was rejected.

The Hebrew press reported that Herzl then considered presenting another site for the Jewish state. This is the region of Wadi al-Hussan in southwestern Morocco on July 20, 1903, a month before the conference. However, Herzl’s sudden death on July 3, 1904 resulted in the archiving or freezing of the plan.

“There was a very large concentration of Jews there – whether in Morocco itself or in the North African region in general,” Yaakov Hajwel, head of the World Zionist Organization, said in a statement. to Yedioth Ahronoth. You have to understand that Herzl was a very pragmatic man. He saw a problem with persecuted Jews who suffered riots mainly in Eastern Europe – and on the other hand, he saw that Morocco has a thriving Jewish community with active Jewish centers.

For his part, Professor Youssef Sheetrit, of the Hebrew Department of the University of Haifa, explained that “the Moroccan option was presented for the first time by two brothers who were well-known militants of the Zionist movement in the ‘time; They are Baruch and Jacob Moshe Toledano. These are the sons of parents who immigrated from Morocco.

The same professor mentioned that Baruch spoke on his own and his brother’s behalf with Herzl a few months before his death, and then made his appeal to French rabbi Fidel of Fez, close to the monarchy and the Moroccan government, to establish a region. independent for the Jews of Horse Valley.

The researcher from the University of Haifa added that “the French rabbi, who was familiar with the internal politics of the country, knew that it was a false plan which did not take into account the internal situation of Morocco, and put it in a drawer. Later, his grandson in Israel, who bears his name, found the document and revealed it for the first time.

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